The Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division has given the green light, advising that Dominica’s major natural sites and attractions have officially reopened to visitors for the first time since the passage of Hurricane Maria. The Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division and other agencies have been working tirelessly to ensure the site restorations were completed in the shortest possible time to provide both Dominicans and visitors with the opportunity to enjoy our natural wonders.
Dominica has a myriad of visitor attractions to suit a diverse set of interests and we have compiled a list below of some of the most visited natural attractions and Must-Do activities in the Nature Island. Nineteen of the twenty-three major natural sites and attractions are now open for all to Enjoy and Experience!
STUNNING WATERBASED EXPERIENCES
One of the most unique areas on the Island and it’s also a place where part of “Pirates of the Caribbean Part 2” was filmed. The Gorge, is actually a short five minutes swim from the base of a waterfall through a series of natural “rooms and ponds” formed by high cliff walls canopied by interlaced trees. The undulating sides of this deep, narrow gorge were formed as molten lava cooled and split apart.
The trail to Emerald Pool is the most accessible trail in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. The Emerald Pool has a waterfall which forms a pool at the base which is suitable for swimming. Some great features of this attraction include secondary rainforest, abundance of regrown epiphytes, vistas of the Morne Trios Piton and a variety of birds
Situated east of the picturesque village of Trafalgar is one of Dominica’s most popular natural attractions: the Trafalgar Falls. A 10-minute walk will take the visitor to the newly constructed view point for a panoramic view of twin waterfalls called the Mother and Father Falls which plunge about 125 ft and 75 ft respectively.
The Middleham Trail was built by the Forestry, Wildlife & Parks Division through a 950-acre tract of tropical rain forest that was donated by John D. Archbold to the Government of Dominica, through The Nature Conservancy. A one hour “intermediate” hike will lead you into the heart of the Morne Trois Piton National Park which now boasts lovely ocean vistas. The falls are striking, with a narrow stream dropping about 200 ft. from a keyhole notch in the lip of the cliff. The pool beneath the falls offers a refreshing swim after a pleasant verdurous hike!
The Island’s widest river is located in the North in the second town of Portsmouth. Visitors will have the opportunity to ride up this river in wooden rowboats accompanied by knowledgeable guides who provide interesting historical facts on the river and any flora and fauna that you may encounter. The riverbed is lined with huge Amazonian type trees and mangroves containing exotic birds and various species of wildlife. The popular photo stop at the “Witch House” from the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” is not available. The “Witch House” was a causality of the hurricane and plans are on the way to have it rebuilt.
CABRITS NATIONAL PARK TRAIL
Cabrits National Park occupies 1,300 acres and protects tropical forests, coral reefs and wetlands. It is located on a scenic peninsula on the north end of the island, just beyond the town of Portsmouth. While you are there, make sure to visit Fort Shirley, the British garrison which once housed 600 soldiers.
SYNDICATE NATURE TRAIL
Nestled on the foothills of Dominica’s tallest mountain – Morne Diablotin – and close to the edge of the Picard River Gorge is the Syndicate Nature Trail. This is the easier and more popular of the two nature trails in the Morne Diablotin National Park. The Syndicate Nature Trail is a relatively simple route where the trail loops through the forest. There are great look out points and the beast place to spot the Jaco and the Sisserou Parrot – the national Bird. There you will also have the opportunity to view a wide variety of hummingbirds.
TIME TO RELAX IN PICTURESQUE LOCALES
FRESH WATER LAKE
The Fresh Water Lake is the largest of Dominica’s four lakes and is located over 2500 ft. above sea level. Several hiking trails begin in the area and offer an enthusiast a variety of challenges and the opportunity to explore the interior of the Morne Trois Pitons National Park. A hike along the lake trail also provides an opportunity to study Dominica’s higher forest.
The largest green space within the City of Roseau, this 40 acre oasis is home to over 50 types of indigenous plants and imported trees as well as the Sisserou Parrot, the National Bird of Dominica. Look for David’s “signature” – the twisted remains of a large bus crushed beneath a massive Baobab Tree. “The Gardens” continue to be the idyllic setting for recreation, meditation, parades and celebrations, and its beauty and serenity make it a true oasis within the bustling city limits. At present the aesthetics of the Botanic Gardens have been affected to the looks of a Botanic Park until it is rehabilitated back to the luscious Botanic Gardens once again.
Just a few miles north of Roseau you will find the beautiful gray sand beach of Mero, in the parish of St. Joseph. The beach boasts warm, calm waters for swimming and long stretches for walks, sunbathing and opportunities to meet new people. Mero Beach is also a popular weekend spot for locals and visitors where they can enjoy an array of local culinary delights.
PURPLE TURTLE BEACH
The Purple Turtle Beach represents one of Dominica’s finest beaches located in Portsmouth, the northern part of the island. Purple Turtle Beach boasts a two mile stretch of light brown sand, warm shallow waters and is an ideal spot for family picnics, beach parties, sun tanning, swimming and group gatherings and mooring of small vessels. It is a popular spot for live entertainment by local reggae and soca bands, boat races, kayaking and volleyball competitions at the weekend.
Purple Turtle Beach is conveniently located near various historical sites such as the Cabrits National Park-Fort Shirley, the Indian River, Douglas Bay, and Prince Rupert Bay.